For more than 20 years Kumeroa and Jubilee Poutapu carved out careers across the ditch in Sydney, but it was their tamariki and passion for te reo Māori that brought them home.
Kumeroa and Jubilee graduated with Te Ara Reo Māori level 2 certificates at Te Wāenga graduation ceremony convened at Hamilton Boys High School last week and are committed to reviving their fluency in te reo.
“I’ve been brought up with the reo around me since I was a young and I just wanted to refresh it and pick up the reo for our kids who were the ones that wanted to come back as they felt they were missing out,” says Kumeroa. “It's been a journey, and I’m happy to achieve the goal.”
The Waikato-Tainui couple live in Huntly and studied at the Rahui Pōkeka campus with their kaiako and enjoyed their marae noho at Te Ohaaki Marae but there were challenges also.
“It was tough especially learning the new kupu that the wānanga are putting out, the days, the months, so it was like going back to the beginning and learning all over again but I think I’ve got the structure right.
They are already studying on the Te Ara Reo Maori level 4 certificate and aspire to reach Te Aupikitanga.
“It was certainly a challenge it was about stepping up. So having the opportunity to start all over again certainly paid off today with our graduation – it’s a small success for my wife and our kids,” says Jubilee.
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